That Long Circular Arc

War has come again and broken against the rocks of civilization. Bombs have blossomed throughout the city and knocked glass into the streets, to glitter among the burned out hulks of cars and cast-iron tables set in front of restaurants. Though blood lies against the bricks, the streets are deserted, swept clean, denatured. Bodies are hidden, out of side against the invasive prying of the bombardiers. They bleed; they die; they keep their secrets.

Guns are polished in basements and words forgotten, or spoken like anti-aircraft fire, ugly, short, utilitarian. The bombs have burned more than the buildings, leveled more than the statues that once raised praising hands in the parks and from the graceful spires of the churches.

The water has gone stagnant and the rats have fled and still the bombs drop, at midnight, at dawn, at noon, at twilight, ringing Matins, Nonce and Vespers, calling the muezzin from on high. Rugs are unfurled and genuflections are made, prayers rising past the buzz of engines. They have lost poetry and gained fervency, regained their faiths. Resistance unfurls a blue flag against the embers of the sky, white sword point downward, the threat and inevitability of gravity.